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The Katoomba to Kanangra (K2K) 4 day hike is a spectacular route through the heart of the southern Blue Mountains wilderness. The route includes high camps, gentle riverside glades, rocky ridge tops, steep and rugged terrain and the spectacular Kanangra plateau.
Usually referred to "Kanangra to Katoomba" or K2K, this is a classic walk in the southern Blue Mountains. The walk includes the spectacular Kanangra Walls, the Gangerang Range, the Coxs River valley, the Wild Dog Mountains and the Narrow Neck plateau. These represent some of the iconic and best known landscapes in the southern Blue Mountains.
Although the route can be done by an extremely fit trail runner in 12-15 hours, most bushwalking groups attempt the walk over a somewhat more pedestrian 3 or 4 days. By allowing this amount of time you can enjoy the spectacular scenery, make side trips to points of interest such as Splendour Rock, and enjoy a couple of nights camping away from it all.
The hike incorporates the summit of Mt Cloudmaker, one of the famous Blue Mountains Three Peaks, and most walkers passing over this summit would sign the logbook there.
The total distance of the walk is 52km, with a total of 3044m of ascent and 2991m of descent over the 3-4 days!
Would you like to do this hike with an experienced guide? Join one of my informally yet professionally led and well organised expeditions in one of the most spectacular wilderness areas in New South Wales. I have had more than 30 years experience of bushwalking along this route and would welcome you on this trip. My trips allow you the autonomy of bringing your own gear and food, whilst providing you full guiding services, navigation, knowledge of the route and area, and organisation of all the logistics. Join a group of like minded people to hike this iconic route with the reassurance of it being led by an experienced guide.
Being a point to point walk, one of the logistical challenges is arranging transport to or from Kanangra Walls. Kanangra Walls is at the terminus of the Kanangra Walls road, about 1 hour and 40 minutes' drive from Katoomba. There is no public transport to or from Kanangra Walls so private transport needs to be arranged for pickup from or dropoff at Kanangra Walls. This will be arranged by me as part of my service to you. A chartered minibus will be waiting for us at Kanangra and will take us back to Katoomba. The cost of this is included in the fee for the trip.
Although the walk can be done in either direction, I run the trip in the direction of Katoomba to Kanangra, organise vehicles to be waiting for us at Kanangra Walls so that when we finish the walk at Kanangra, we have immediate access to private transport back to Katoomba, via, of course, the Hampton Half Way House hotel for a well earned refreshment on the way home!
Splendour Rock. We will camp near here on the first night.
The guided hike is done over 4 days, with the first and last days being quite long, and the middle two days being relatively short.
Katoomba, own arrangements
Clients travel by their own arrangements to Katoomba.
It is recommended that you book your own accommodation in Katoomba for the night prior ...
Katoomba, own arrangements
The first day is the longest in distance of the entire walk. Early in the morning (around 6:30am) you will be picked up from your accommodat...
Enjoy the sunrise from Splendour Rock. After breakfast we continue the walk. Descend from Splendour Rock and continue along the Wild Dog Mou...
Today is a day of sustained climbing. Directly across from our campsite is the base of the long spur up Mt Strongleg. This long climb brings...
Katoomba, own arrangements
From Dex Creek it is about 45 minutes' walk on a gently rising trail to reach the summit of Mt Cloudmaker, one of the Blue Mountains Three P...
Katoomba, own arrangements
Being a self-supported bushwalk, idea is that everyone brings their own gear and food for the trip. Click the button below to review the gear list for this trip.
If you don't have some of the items listed, don't worry, many of the items can be borrowed or rented for a small fee.
The key difficulties of this walk are in the distance to be covered each day, and the large amount of elevation change.
The total distance of the walk is 52km, with 3044m of ascent and 2991m of descent over the course of the 4 days.
Whilst most of the walking is along a well defined walking path, both the first day and the last day are rather long (20km and 13km respectively) with lots of ups and downs. The middle two days are both shorter and these two days can be combined into one longer day if desired. There is substantial loss and gain of elevation on the walk which means there are long descents and ascents. The highest point on the walk is Mt Cloudmaker at 1155m, and the lowest point is the Coxs River at just 150m. That is a 1000m range in elevation, and there are countless ups and downs during the course of the 4 days to add more to the amount of climbing and descending that you need to do! Expect long knee crushing descents and seemingly endless quad screaming climbs, especially on Day 3!
The track is often rough, stony and hard to follow with many dips, turns and obstacles. On the last day the knolls past Mt Cloudmaker (Rip, Rack, Roar and Rumble) are steep and stony and care must be taken on the trail there. Also on the last day the traverse around the base of Crafts Wall is rough, slow and hard on the ankles. This makes the last day a long and difficult day despite the distance being only 13.2km.
The 2019-2020 bushfires significantly affected the area and since the fires much of the track has become overgrown, and the path is indistinct and difficult to follow. Good navigation and prior knowledge of the route is therefore essential. You may also be walking through regrowth that is dense and head high in places.
The reward for all this effort is to transect a vast swathe of the southern Blue Mountains wilderness, taking in majestic mountain scenery in the process. It is strongly recommended that all participants undertake some form of fitness training for at least the 2 months prior to the trip. Ideal fitness preparation would be similar activities to what we'll actually be doing on this walk, namely bushwalking with a backpack and climbing up and down long hills. If it is not practicable for you to do training bushwalks prior to this trip then any form of long walk with as much hill climbing and descending as you can practicably manage would place you in good stead for this trip.
Another challenge of this walk is the descent of Tarros Ladders, which is a cliff face with metal spikes in them which you use as handholds and footholds to descend. It is exposed and some people may feel insecure on a vertical rockface with no more than metal spikes to hold onto with hands and feet. Fortunately an alternative descent route called Duncan's Pass is nearby, and this route is available for anyone not wishing to descend on the metal spikes.
The walking trail is rough and faint in places. The path is often stony and awkward to walk on. You need to be careful to avoid slipping or straining an ankle on this uneven rough path. In a few places the path is very faint and you need to push your way through dense and stiff vegetation to finally reach our second night's campsite at Dex Creek.
In conclusion, you need to consider the following when assessing in your own mind the level of difficulty of the walk:
Please check the photos of the route and the detailed distance and elevation charts provided to you in your information pack when deciding if this trip is suitable for you.
Taking a well earned rest after a long first day.
The size of the group will be capped at 8 clients and the trip will not proceed unless a minimum number of 5 clients sign up.
Does not include: